Albert Einstein reveals himself through his numerous recorded comments, illustrating his view of the world that reflect a very humble, vulnerable, confident, curious, imaginative, funny, hard working, and truth centered intuitive man.
This “Great Sprits” quote, is oft quoted and from it inferred that the institutions that seek and gather knowledge, are very slow to accept new more enlightened ideas as truth. But the second part of his comment changes the focus away from his plight of fighting the “powers that be” and onto a commonly held misconception that seems a limiting spell that dulls the masses.
He is referring to the overuse of perfectionism, a tool employed by the false-self to excuse oneself from reaching and risking, and potentially “losing face”.
Perfectionism does not describe a posture of performing tasks with exceptional brilliance and exquisite attention to detail, rather it is an attitude that if one cannot perform a task to their self exalted highest expectations, then they’d rather absolve themselves from attempting the endeavor in the first place.
That is, an individual would rather not even attempt something unless an outstanding result is assured, even if they’ve no experience or knowledge of it. The perfectionist holds their naturally endowed abilities in very high esteem, what they’ve achieved through hard work and what they’ve learned from failing are of little import to them. They rely upon their naturally endowed brilliance, for like a person of royal lineage, it is inherent in their being, not a result of growth through failure and soiling ones hands.
Of course this is truly a farce meant to cloak a high degree of internal insecurity, with an air of exceptionalism. The perfectionist holds the result, the prize, the goal in higher esteem than the active experience of discovery itself. The complete antithetical approach to the honest seeker of truth, like a true searcher such as Einstein. Failure and beginning anew, is but another opportunity to learn truth. The perfectionist complains of the effort put into the work they’ve done and failed at, the truth searcher has eliminated one falsehood.
Remember Albert Einstein wasn’t Einstein until he was Einstein😉